Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Well, it looks like Graffanino might be edging out the dead sea lamprey after all.
This is another one of those 'everyone and their own personal dead sea lamprey is going to be writing about it' kind of posts, but really, why not give the guy his due? He's basically a career backup, who's bounced from team to team over 10 years, and now he's landed here, in the midst of this deranged, baseball-obsessed city, one year after nearly signing onto what turned out to be a historic World Series drive. He's getting playing time because the bizarre cult hero second baseman hurt his thumb. His son is in the hospital recovering from surgery to remove a lump in his neck. Kevin Millar forced him to shave his head in a terrifying infielding ritual.
The poor guy has gone through (and is currently going through) all kinds of shit. So when he has a good night for us, the kind of night that makes you sit back and go, "Lookit dat. Boy done hit da ball and also fielded it," by golly, we're going to wallow in it shamelessly.
So anyways, Tony G(raffanino-not-to-be-confused-with-Giarratano) went 3-for-3 with an intentional walk and 4 RBIs on the night, which is a good night for Manny Ramirez and a mind-bogglingly orgasmic night for a replacement player we snagged from the Royals. He also stole a base. He also charged the hell out of a wild pitch and dove across homeplate to score (TC to Jim Rice after the game: "Now, I know you don't like the headfirst slide.." while Rice grudgingly grunted at the high quality of the play). He also saved Petagine's ass by charging over from second to snag a ball that Roberto had lost sight of. He is currently batting over .300 and slugging over .400 which, hey, that's pretty damn good, are you listening Mr. Millar?
I'd imagine that no one ever likes to get walked when they've got a hot bat, but there must have been some small measure of satisfaction for Tony G when it became evident that the Rangers had grown to so deeply fear his bat tonight that they would rather intentionally walk him than give him the chance to swing at a fat pitch.
That's two ridiculously high-scoring games in a row... seems like the regular sluggers got hot last time, and the little guys at the bottom of the order were raking tonight. I guess that's good. Spread it around and we can keep it up over multiple nights, and all that.
Don and Remy were talking about how they had expected high scoring games from the Sox/Rangers matchup, because both clubs are such strong offensive presences. True, but this game seemed less about strong offensive presences and more about completely awful pitching. Ricardo couldn't even get himself out of one inning, and Wade Miller was once again lucky to make it even into the vicinity of the 5th inning. The PawSox probably could have put up some quality numbers against these guys today.
Jeremi came in and was great... I'm still riding the mellow wave of happiness from when we brought him back up. Timlin... ah, I'm worried here. They said today that he was second in appearances only to Tom Gordon, and that is not a good thing. Joe Torre overuses his bullpen, that's just how he does things. He nearly ran Gordon into the ground before, and he had so abused The Fruitbat last year that The Fruitbat refused to even pick up a baseball in the offseason. If Timlin is being used in a similar fashion to one of Torre's pet Yankee relievers, that means he's probably being overused, and his ability to pitch well in October is thrown into doubt, especially when you consider his age.
ChadBrad effectively closed it out. Watching that ball come rising up across the plate is really something.
But really, tonight it was the Tony G show. We watched him hit, we watched him run, we watched him field, we watched him get his uniform all dirty and we watched him wearing something tight and red and with the goatee and the buzzcut and we drooled in the postgame interview. It's a good night to be a Red Sox fan when you win and can spend the night feteing the backup second baseman.
A note on all the errors: Not the ones we've been committing, the ones we've been profitting from. I know that I said we can't count on 'this stuff' happening all the time, but it seems that we're getting a lot of other teams to make boneheaded plays against us-- all that craziness when KC was in town; the ball-tossing woes the last time the Twinks were in town, and so on. And here's the thing: on another team, that's no big deal. But because the Red Sox almost always have someone on base, we can score on these errors more like as not.
That's good. Now if only we could cut down on the ones we perpetrate.